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BOYS HOCKEY: Bemidji rallies for third place at Heritage Holiday Classic

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DULUTH — After a rough shutout loss Friday night, the Bemidji High School boys hockey team needed a game like this to lift its spirits.

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A night after falling 3-0 to Cloquet in the semifinals of the 2013 Heritage Holiday Classic hosted by Duluth Denfeld, the Lumberjacks claimed the third place title with a 6-3 victory over the hosts Saturday afternoon at Sill Arena.

“We played very well,” BHS head coach Wade Chiodo said of his team’s big victory. “That’s the way we want to play. I’m very proud of the way we came out; we put a complete game together.”

Six different players scored the six goals for the Lumberjacks (5-6-0), who saw goals from all four lines, Chiodo said.

“It’s nice when everybody’s on the same page, and everybody’s scoring,” he said. “When all four lines score you know something’s going right.”

BHS scored the game’s opening goal just 1 minute, 25 seconds into the first period, with Rocky Copiskey assisting Jake Leitner’s goal to make it 1-0.

In the second frame, Denfeld (5-7-0) tied the score on a Nick Thompson power play goal at the 1:19 mark.

However, the Lumberjacks scored the next four goals — all in the second frame — to take a commanding 5-1 lead.

Jack Johnson, Cole Hartje, Parker Lucas and Michael Forseth scored for BHS.

The Hunters bookended the second intermission with a pair of goals — one from Alex Larson at 16:52 of the second period and one by Thompson at 2:05 of the third — to make it interesting at 5-3.

But the Lumberjacks all but iced the game with Ben Christopher’s tally at 9:53 of the third.

In all, the Lumberjacks outshot the Hunters 30-16.

The Lumberjacks did this despite taking seven penalties in the game for a total of 17 minutes — that meant they were skating short handed for a total of one period of play in the game.

However, BHS gave up just one power play goal — Thompson’s goal in the first period — but nothing else.

“We were killing a lot of penalties there, especially in the first period,” Chiodo said. “But the kids responded really well and were great on the PK.”

Garrett Attaberry made 13 saves for BHS while Wes Cook stopped 24 for the Hunters.

Bemidji is back in action after the New Year; they’ll host Sartell-St. Stephen Jan. 4 at Bemidji Community Arena.

Bemidji 6, Duluth Denfeld 3

Bemidji 1 4 1 — 6

Denfeld 0 2 1 — 3

First Period — 1, BHS, Leitner (Copisky), 1:25.

Second Period — 2, D, Thompson 1 (Opack), 1:19, PP; 3, BHS, Johnson (C.Hartje), 3:32; 4, BHS, C.Hartje (Burns), 4:41; 5, BHS, Lucas (C.Hartje), 7:00; 6, BHS, Forseth (Bruestle, Copiskey), 16:30, PP; 7, D, Larson (Budisalovich), 16:52.

Third Period — 8, D, Thompson 2 (Unassisted), 2:05; 9, BHS, Christopher (Gregg, Lusby), 9:53.

Shots On Goal — BHS: 5-14-11-30; D: 3-7-6—16. Goalie Saves — BHS: Attaberry (16-13); D: Cook 30-24. Penalties-Minutes — BHS 7-17; D 2-4. Power Plays-Opportunities — BHS 1-for-2; D 1-for-7.

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Jack Hittinger
Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at http://thebeaverblog.areavoices.com/ and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.
(218) 333-9772
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